It's a real pain in the neck
The vicious cycle is familiar to all of us; waking up with a sore neck, going to work, sitting in front of a computer, coming home and sitting on your phone, going to bed and then waking up…with a sore neck!
You might already have some idea (or you might not) but we are here to tell you that these events might be linked.
The Neck Curve ... The Arc of Life!
The curve of your neck is crucial for allowing room for messages to get through unobstructed from your brain to the rest of your body, and this is why we call it the Arc of Life. A healthy neck curve, should be that a curve. A part of a circle. Not only does this allow for proper nerve transmission but also for full range of movement and no tension on your neck muscles or their attachment points.
What could cause you to lose this curve?
Injuries (like whiplash, sporting collisions, falls off ladders)
Poor posture (like hunching over your phone or tablet)
Stress (Do you find yourself scrunching your shoulders up when you are stressed?)
Any of the above can place more pressure on the vertebrae in your neck, causing degeneration of the neck vertebrae if uncorrected, and making it even more difficult for nerve messages to get through.
How Could This Cause Neck Pain?
(NOT SO) FUN FACT!
Over 90% of headaches and migraines result from the lack of curve in our neck!
Not only does losing your neck curve impact your body’s functions, but the muscles around your neck will get sore from holding it in this wrong position, causing neck or shoulder pain. This fatigue can then make you hunch your shoulders, making your posture even worse and can lead to a cervical kyphosis (reverse neck curve), forward head posture, or even an increased mid back curve - a thoracic hyper-kyphosis (The hunched over little old lady you may see down the street, or the rounded back man in the nursing home)
If this tension keeps up, it can cause chronic neck pain, headaches or even migraines. Interestingly enough, neck pain might also be caused by other issues in your spine, like your lower back.
Symptoms and Relief
Some other symptoms that might join your neck pain include:
Pain on movement
Muscles that spasm
Pain in the shoulders, wrists or hands
A Quick Neck Self Assessment
Want to find out if your neck might have a problem? Do this quick self assessment.
Can you look to the sky freely and without pain?
Can you look down to your toes freely and without pain?
Can you look fully over both shoulders freely and without pain
Can you tip your ear over to your shoulder (like you are holding a phone between your ear and your shoulder) freely and without pain?
If you find it difficult to do one or more of these tests, then there may be a chance your neck might have a problem or be out of alignment
How do I get relief from or prevent neck pain?
Prevention is always better than a cure.
To maintain a healthy neck curve, there are some things you can do:
Avoid carrying heavy bags or backpacks, or at least lighten their load
Take regular breaks from the computer
Lift up the height of your monitor
Maintain a good studying or working posture
Avoid your phone as much as you can
Gentle forward and backward stretches of your neck
Consider a Chiropractic checkup and possible chiropractic care
How could Chiropractic help with Neck Pain in Albury?
If you are already experiencing neck pain, headaches, migraines or any of the above symptoms, there is a chance your neck vertebrae may be out of alignment. If you think this is you, it would be a good idea to get it checked out by a Chiropractor. At House of Chiropractic in Albury neck pain is something we see all the time.
At House of Chiropractic, we will make sure that we know what’s wrong and how we can help you before we start care (and we’ll make sure you know too!).
We use a wide range of gentle techniques in what is called a Chiropractic adjustment, which can re-align the vertebrae in your neck and spine to prevent further degeneration, allow the messages from your brain to get through to the rest of your body and restore that Arc of Life and get you back to doing the things you love. xx